Corbyn loses Scotland

Corbyn loses Scotland

Corbynmania may or may not enter the Oxford English Dictionary next year. It is a word that strikes fear, loathing and depression in the minds of many ‘progressive’ Labour MPs.

For progressive read whatever you like: right wing? Blairite? Brownie? Everyone wants to claim the title of being progressive and Nicola commandeered, nae owned it, in the General Election. After all, as an adjective all one has to believe in is a sense of going forward. For the youngsters among you, the Progressives in local government in the 1970s and before were Tories by another name.

Enough about that. Jeremy Corbyn kicked off the opening of the Labour UK leader ballot with an outing to Scotland to broadly tell us: you have come thus far and will go no farther. No more devolution. So many former Labour for Yes people started, for the first time in 10 years perhaps, to think and talk about a Corbyn leadership as the symbolic change that the party that deserted them is potentially coming back to its roots.

How those same Scottish socialists must have felt gutted that instead of reaching out to independence-seeking former Labour supporters, he effectively slapped them down.  In one sentence their little candle of hope was snuffed out. Forever. Let’s face it, if Corbyn wasn’t going to even talk federalism there isn’t the slightest chance that Burnham, Cooper and Kendall would pick up the baton.

Corbyn may very well win the Labour leadership. If he does it will be against a maelstrom of Establishment brickbats the like of which hasn’t been seen against a Labour figure since Michael Foot’s donkey jacket appearance at the Cenotaph.

Corbyn may very well agree a platform of radical change including abolition of the House of Lords. I do hope he can lift Labour out of the doldrums and win elections again. But he will be leader of a divided party. And the political obituary will be written will be written in his first week in office. Doomed to fail. It is a sad indictment of the current political environment that such a script can be written now and all we have to do is follow the passage of time to its predicted outcome.

The SNP of course will take the blame. Your people joined (600,000?) to fix it. You want Corbyn because you know England will always vote Tory in response. It would be amusing if not so sad that the delusions about the impact of the SNP is engineered by Nicola alone and has nothing to do with the paranoia of a nation such as England which is at a loss to understand its own identity and sense of purpose. Grow up.

Whatever England, Wales and Northern Ireland choose for their political leadership is their choice and their choice alone. Frankly it makes very little difference to the growing sense of belief that Scotland can be self-governing. All in good time.